Civil War Blog

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Why Did John T. Pepper Serve in a Pennsylvania Regiment?

Posted By on May 22, 2017

The 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, was composed almost completely of men who lived in and around the Lykens Valley area.  However, there were some exceptions.

John T. Pepper was born on 5 November 1838 in New York.  About 1859, he married Emeline Bonham, who according to all records seen, was also born in New York.  The couple is found in the 1860 census for Tioga County, New York, where John is enumerated as a farmer.

On 18 January 1865, John T. Pepper was mustered into the service of the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company A, as a Private, at Troy, New York.  The Pennsylvania Veterans’ Index Card, shown above from the Pennsylvania Archives, also notes that he was drafted, but no draft registration has been located.  At the time of his muster, he said he was 24 years old,  but other records indicate he was probably older.  According to the card shown above, he was mustered out on 30 July 1865, but he had been “absent sick” since 20 Jun 1865.

After the war, John T. Pepper returned to New York, where he raised a family.  He is found in both state and federal censuses up through 1900, where he is first working as a farmer, but later becomes a produce agent.  One record from about 1899, indicates he was a member of G.A.R. Post 529 in New York, was about 61 years old, and at the time was living in Nichols, Tioga County, New York, and working as an agent.

According to the Pension Index Card, from Ancestry.com, John T. Pepper applied for an invalid pension on 25 August 1894, from New York.  He received the pension and collected it until his death, which, according to the Fold3 version of the Pension Index Card, occurred on 29 November 1900.  Following his death, on 17 December 1900, his widow Emeline applied and received benefits which she collected until her death. Her Findagrave Memorial gives her death date as 14 May 1904.

At the time of this writing, John T. Pepper‘s Findagrave Memorial does not indicate that he was a Civil War veteran or a member of the G.A.R.

So, the question has to be asked – why did he serve in a Pennsylvania regiment?  Did he have some connection to the Lykens Valley?  Did he maintain any connection to the men who he served with in the war?  Perhaps a reader of this blog can provide the answers?


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